Nocode Startup costs: Minimum budget for web and mobile apps
Some startup costs are obvious like paying up for a domain name or a landing page builder. These are usually paid upfront and they standout. Other costs are not so obvious as they appear at later stages of a company and in some cases they are even $0 in the beginning. An example of this is MailChimp which many companies don't know about its startup costs. MailChimp is free at the beginning and really easy to setup which makes it really attractive to newly founded companies but ends up be really expensive (hundreds of dollars each month) after bypassing the first 2500 customers. Now they are faced with two startups costs. The one is to pay MailChimp a big chunk of money every month to use their tool. The other is the developer hours to migrate all customer data away from MailChimp and to another platform which is equally expensive.
Domain & Business
Most of the times good idea to have a domain early on and be able to get a landing page up for signups and a branded email address so people can reach you. There another administrative thing to do if they are more than one people involved. That is setting up a business account so no personal account is linked to company. Most of the times it requires a business registered.
- Gov.uk ($15)
- Delaware.gov ($89)
- Sole trader (free)
- Stripe Atlas ($500 + $100/yr)
- 👑 Google Domains ($12/yr)
Getting the landing page right is a crucial bit of the business and usually the go-to tool for this job is Wordpress. I believe though that the trade-off of flexibility to price is not good. Most of the times I tend to find a few areas that I need something more customisable and find myself to start digging into it more and wasting time instead of saving. If flexibility is my goal I rather use a tool like Stackbit that is more friendly to developers (since it uses React and the JAMstack). On the other hand if simplicity is the goal I found Carrd to be a tool that does the job for a very affordable price.
The web app or mobile app is will be the core part of your business and it important that is flexible and extensible to support future requirements nicely. For building the frontend I believe UI bakery gives a lot of flexibility. One reason is that it builds a full scale web under the hood and more complex features will play nicely with this. The other reason is that is decoupled with the backend and can be swapped for a custom integration if the business scales up really well or gets venture funding. Our own tool Diagram I think does the job it suppose to do really well. It connects to all popular databases, it natively fast and it's has a very flexible nodes engine for more complex requirements.
- Webflow + Zapier ($$$)
- Wix ($10/mo)
- Bubble ($25/mo)
- 👑 UI Bakery ($7/mo) + Diagram (19$/mo)
- Sharetribe ($79/mo) or Yelo ($69/mo) or Shopify ($30/mo) or Substack (free)
My first choice here is to go with Draftbit and build the frontend there. They support different layouts and have a flexible integration with other backend services. Moreover, they offer a hundreds of templates to start with and play around before getting into designing of your own app. For it's speed, compatibility and flexibility I think Diagram is a great choice for backend as described above. The last component of nocode startup costs for mobile apps is paying for the Play Store and App Store. There is no way around this but if it's done right it can also be a distribution platform as well as a great acquisition channel!
- Bubble ($20/mo + $20 Fiverr)
- Adalo ($50/mo)
- 👑 Draftbit (invite only) + Diagram (19$/mo)
- Wix Webview ($10/mo + $20 Fiverr)
- 👑 App Store ($25)
- 👑 Play Store ($100/yr)
It is often forgotten in the beginning but no startup can operate without proper marketing services like email, sms, push notifications etc. Also, considering how expensive this can get it's important to start thinking about it from the get-go. For example MailChimp is free for up to 2500 customers but it becomes really expensive is not scaling nicely once you reach that threshold.
All startup costs listed above are monthly. That may be unfair to some tools that have favourable yearly plans. Also, some prices are not accurate due to currency conversions. These prices are correct as of 5/7/20.